Gemuetlichkeit What does it mean exactly? It’s a difficult word to pronounce and it can’t be translated from German to English in just one word,…
Our culture is truly unique and can be found in a variety of ways but it is certainly evident in the pace of living. Here in the Colonies time seems to move just a little slower.
You’ll also find the culture in many of our shops that have historic roots. You can taste it, touch it, smell it and even see it. We are happy to help you get in touch with it. We’re a National Historic Landmark and you haven’t discovered the Colonies until you discover our history. Take a tour or set out on your own, you’ll find what makes the Colonies so unique.
Listings for Culture + History
- Climb the rainbow boardwalk to the Deborah Kimm Gallery. Enjoy a comfortable, casual shopping experience housed in the spacious 2,000 square foot lower level of our home. Our delightfully quirky antique brick & cedar house is nestled in the woods of ‘Waldenburg’, German translation for home in the woods. Browse the gallery! Here you will find an eclectic collection of original fine art and crafts, antiques, original & print batiks, hand-blown glassware, home & garden accessories, affordable prints and award winning fine photography by artists from around the corner and around the world. DKG is also an authorized dealer for ‘The Naked Bee’ organic lotion featuring the delightful scent of Orange Blossom Honey. One of my favorite things is the NB facial sunscreen & body lotion made with “All the good stuff,none of the bad stuff”! Engage in a little bird watching if you like and take some time to relax and enjoy a complimentary beverage with a delicious sweet treat. A little off the beaten path… Located 2 miles north of Main Amana off Highway 151 at 3172 121st Street. The Deborah Kimm Gallery is open May through November on most Sundays from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Appointments are welcome! Call 319-213-5466 to visit the gallery outside of business hours.
- AJ’s Copper Garden & Metal Art Gallery is a sales outlet for the artists studio located next door. 10 artists build metal art sculptures of Copper, Brass & Stainless Steel. These sculptures are simply amazing creations from a team of award winning artists. Come in and see the huge assortment of metal sculptures for the home and the garden. Watch the artists working next door in their studio.
- The Amana Heritage Society maintains a group of arts-and-culture museums that display and interpret artifacts and photos of the history of the Amana Colonies. The Amana Heritage Museum is comprised of three 19th Century buildings, set in spacious grounds. The Noé House, built in 1864, was originally a communal kitchen and later a doctor’s residence. Recently updated exhibits in the Noé House trace the history and development of Amana, include stories about Amana residents, and display the varied crafts and industries of the Inspirationists. Temporary exhibits and special programs focus on particular aspects of Amana’s culture. The Schoolhouse was built in 1870. An audio visual presentation on Amana’s history is shown regularly in the Schoolhouse auditorium. The original washhouse/woodshed, an integral part of communal Amana, houses wine-making and gardening displays. With an intact communal-era kitchen, cooper shop, blacksmith shop, a well-preserved church museum, a research library for scholars and a working General Store, we preserve and make available to the public all aspects of Amana’s history. We also have a museum bookstore that has many great books for both adults and children on topics ranging from Amana history to cooking and knitting. Check out our virtual bookstore here.
- Our shop is located in the village of West Amana, right next door to our Giant Walnut Rocking Chair. Come watch our broomaker handcraft brooms on an old ‘kicker’ broom winding machine. Our baskets are made locally and include traditional German willow baskets with the replaceable bottom rims. We also carry a large selection of handcrafted wooden items made by Schanz Furniture and local craftsmen. So much to see here that you will not want to miss this stop during your visit to the Amana Colonies! Also at this location: The Philip Dickel Basket Exhibit/Museum Gallery features a changing exhibit of baskets from across the USA.
- Catiri’s Art Oasis was established in 2001. Ithiel & Jenise Catiri decided to move to the beautifully wooded rolling hills of Amana to establish a life, creating & selling their artworks. Over the years, the gallery has rapidly evolved to its present location nestled in the historic village of Main Amana, Iowa. Located in the historic Noe’ Haus and displaying over 100 regional artists works, it is a true art oasis. We are all about promoting the arts! We just can’t imagine life without art! We want to share that excitement with everyone! Catiri’s Art Oasis has a passionate team of creative thinkers that link the chain between the customer and the artists, making it easy & efficient to make the addition of unique, one of a kind art to your collection, design and decor. With over 100 artists in all varieties of mediums and styles, there is always something perfect. Catiri’s Art Oasis has a wonderful comprehensive package, offering originals (watercolor, oil, pastel, acrylic, pen & ink), prints (limited edition giclee, hand-colored etchings), ceramics (functional & decorative, wood-fired, sculptural), glass (Fused, blown, lampworked) & many other accents.
- Mini-Americana is the largest known collection of 1/12 scale miniature replicas built by one man, woodworker Henry Moore (1911-1983). Following a scale of one inch to one foot, Mini-Americana is a unique display of over 200 miniatures that depict the history of rural America. Each building, an exact replica of an original structure either past or present, took an average of six months to complete. Each exhibit is finished in complete detail, inside and out: Shingles are fashioned from real cedar, siding is worked to exact proportions, and windowpanes are made of real glass. Houses have curtains; the blacksmith shop has a forge; and the barns have pens, mangers and even movable stanchions. Activities abound from fertile imaginations. Charlotte Moore (1913-1993) was responsible for collecting the over 3,000 small items, farm equipment, livestock, people, etc. in the displays. Clothing was hand made for each of the dolls and the livestock was hand painted. Mini-Americana is a warm, personal experience filled with educational history, architecture and wonderment. Many of our visitors have commented that it is a “trip worth taking for the young and old alike.”
- Visitors of Amana often speak of having had a certain picture of Iowa in their minds: a flat, uniform landscape with endless rows of corn. But when they arrive, they are surprised to find rolling hills with luxurious textures that have inspired vibrant landscapes and portraits by Grant Wood and other artists. As a community, Amana works hard to keep its fine arts and handcrafts alive. Currently the Amana Arts Guild recruits and assists blacksmiths, coppersmiths, broom makers and tinsmiths, reinvigorating Amana’s early trades. Today, the community finds itself at a critical point in its history where it must keep a balance between its tradition of innovation and preservation of the ways of the past in order to retain the rich skill sets of its tradespeople. To ensure that this knowledge, passed on through hands-on instruction, is properly shared, the Amana Arts Guild is working to find new ways to support and highlight these talented individuals. Amana Arts Guild activities provide people of all age rich and rewarding cultural experiences in many areas of the arts. Established in 1978 as a non profit community arts council, the Guild continues to expand its list of programs and serves as a valuable resource of the Greater Amana area, the state of Iowa and the entire Midwest region. To further these activities the Guild maintains an Art and Folklife Center in High Amana that houses our art gallery and a shop filled with locally hand made items.
- The art gallery and studio are open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 to 5, Sundays from 10 to 4….and by appointment. The studio is located in a 1868 Amana home that was once a communal kitchen. The home is adjacent to beautiful floral gardens which are the inspiration for many of the artist’s creations. There are five rooms of contemporary and traditional oils and watercolors on display. Relax and enjoy the “get away from it all” beauty of Homestead, an Amana village.
- Owner Chris Davies and her staff invite you to experience Heritage Designs, a destination for quilters, stitchers and those who love the needle arts. Heritage Designs Quilting & Needlework was established in 1976 and is located in a renovated old granary built in 1895 in the heart of historic Amana. With 14 foot ceilings, the space is perfect for showcasing the shop’s HUNDREDS OF SAMPLE PIECES that are sure to inspire your creativity. In addition to being a full service quilt shop with nearly 4000 fabrics, you can find a full line of supplies for counted cross-stitch, punchneedle, embroidery and tatting. In 2009 Heritage Designs was selected and featured as a Top 10 Quilt Shop in North America by Quilt Sampler magazine. Known throughout the Midwest for an extensive collection of batik fabrics and Asian prints, other fabrics include a treasury of reproduction lines including Civil War and 1930s, as well as a wide variety of designer lines, basics & solids, and classic favorites. There is something for every taste. Browse a wide selection of quilt kits, patterns, books and notions including Dovo scissors from Germany and other unique accessories. Located next to the Amana Visitor’s Center, with ample parking and handicap accessibility, the shop is open 7 days a week. When you visit be sure to inquire about upcoming events and take advantage of assistance from the knowledgeable and friendly staff. No matter what your style or skill level, you’re sure to leave with a treasure and a smile when you visit Heritage Designs in the heart of beautiful Amana.
- Amana furniture, designed and hand-built in the Colonies since the 1850’s, has an enduring reputation for high quality and timelessness. The Amana dierence is a focus on craftsmanship, using century-old building methods that have been passed down for generations. Today, these standards are still applied to our exceptional heirloom-quality furniture, clocks, and home décor. Meticulous care is taken in matching wood grains, testing durability, and expert finishing to enhance the wood’s natural beauty. Many locally made gifts also available. Our craftsmen are both designers and builders, and turn their experience, passion, and know-how into pieces that expertly blend heritage craftsmanship with modern insights. Enjoy our workshop viewing gallery and learn more about handcrafting authentic Amana Furniture while watching our craftsmen work.
- Fern Hill Gifts and Quilts has a unique and inviting collection of Handmade Iowa quilts, antique quilts, fabric and Stephanie Brandenburg and Frond Design Studios fabrics, architectural antiques, antique furniture, gifts, cards, home decorating, garden, florals, sweets and beverages. There are 3 floors brimming with wonderful items to decorate your own home. Open year-round!
- Established back in communal days in 1857, the store’s exterior and interior have remained virtually unchanged all these years. The original tin ceiling, wooden floor, and glass-topped display cases still remain. Throughout the store are charming reminders of the good old days, of a simpler time, of the past preserved. They just don’t make stores like this anymore, and there sure aren’t many of them left in existence! The store is truly a “museum” and an authentic general store in one. We have stocked the shelves with an interesting variety of hard-to-find trinkets and unique treasures from days gone by. We offer a wide assortment of gift and food items, toys, books, housewares, handmade soaps, and much more, all reasonably priced. Everyone is sure to find something that brings a smile to their face.
- Something for everyone! Creative Colony has whatever style you’re looking for, country to Americana, primitive to contemporary. You’ll be amazed at the diversity of our handcrafted products. We carry items for your home; furniture, framed art work, flower arrangements, quilts, baskets, pottery, kitchen wares, hand-woven rugs, and soy candles. We have unique gift ideas; soaps and lotions, fused glass and stained glass, whimsical signs, garden art and pet accessories. For the personal touch; we have jewelry, hand-woven scarves, stylish purses, appliqued t-shirts and sweatshirts. Our children’s room offers doll clothes, wooden toys, bibs, blankets and small treasures. No matter what your favorite holiday, our Holiday rooms will surprise and delight you with decorating options. From our homes to yours. We want you to realize the care and quality workmanship that goes into our handcrafted products, many one-of-a-kind, knowing that you’ve purchased a treasure that will last for many years.
- The Michele Maring Miller Studio Gallery features the works of watercolorist Miller, and the photography and mixed media work of her two daughters. Experience the Amana Colonies through the brush strokes and lens of this talented family. Also featuring pottery from Cedar Falls artist, Jim Kerns. Be sure to visit our West Amana location in the old West Amana Church, open Friday thru Monday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
- Norway’s baseball tradition grew into 20 state championships, and many college, semi-pro and professional baseball players came from this small community. This museum features the history of baseball, championship trophies, major league players from the community, other major league players, and THE FINAL SEASON movie made in Norway, Ia. The museum includes a small gift shop, murals, written history, and a narrated tour. Our museum is always open by appointment by calling 319-721-6288.
- The Old Creamery Theatre is dedicated to performing high-quality, live professional theatre for audiences of all ages and interests. The company offers a wide variety of plays each season, as well as many different educational opportunities. The 300-seat Main Stage season features favorite comedies, musicals, mysteries, and more. The Old Creamery Theatre is Iowa’s longest-running professional theatre. All actors, directors, designers, and technicians are paid professionals. These professionals are gathered together from all over the country to provide a high-quality theatrical experience for audiences. Since opening its doors in 1971, just over two million patrons have enjoyed live performances by The Old Creamery Theatre. For more information or to see what’s playing call the box office at 319-62-AMANA (319-622-6262) or visit our website at www.oldcreamery.com.
learn from the locals
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